Ireland's latest figures show an increase in population to 4.98 million as of April 2020 as the highest number of returning Irish nationals was recorded since 2007.
Figures released by The Central Statistics Office (CSO) as part of Ireland's annual Population and Migration Estimates found that the Republic of Ireland's population has increased by 1.1 percent (55,900) in the year leading up to April 2020.
The results showed that 85,400 persons immigrated to Ireland in the year to April 2020. The CSO found that 28,900 (33.8%) of these were estimated to be returning Irish nationals. This is the highest number of returning Irish nationals since 2007.
Commenting on the data, James Hegarty, Statistician, said 'It should be noted that this release covers the 12 months to April 2020. Therefore, as much of the reference period predates the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on today’s figures is limited and the majority of the impact can be expected to be seen in the 12 months to April 2021."
The study also found that as of April 2020, 644,400 non-Irish nationals were estimated to be resident in Ireland. This accounts for 12.9 percent of Ireland's total population.
Read more: Coronavirus live updates from Ireland
The figures also showed that the population of Dublin is now estimated to be almost 1.42 million persons or 28.5 percent of the country's total population.
The CSO also said that the number of births was 58,300 while the number of deaths was 31,200, resulting in a natural increase of 27,100 in the year to April 2020.
It said this marked the lowest level of natural increase recorded since the 2001 population estimates.
The CSO figures also revealed an increase in those aged 65 years and over. As of April 2020, 720,100 persons were estimated to be aged 65 years and over. This is an increase of 90,200 persons (+14.3%), in this age group since April 2016.